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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Representative Kate Knuth - The Symptom of a Deeper Problem

I received an e-mail from a friend of mine that attended Kate Knuth's town hall meeting yesterday morning and was appalled by what he had witnessed. He really shouldn't have been surprised as I had checked out Knuth's act at a local coffee establishment a few weeks ago and had told him what to expect. I couldn't resist the urge to send a reply reminding him that "I told you so" and pointed out that I had been out on the glorious global warming Saturday morning working on a tan rather than raising my blood pressure through intentional exposure to liberal stupidity.

After reading his expletive enriched tirade it occurred to me that Kate Knuth herself isn't the problem. She is actually a pleasant, well intentioned (though very politically and intellectually misguided) person that the DFL very effectively promoted. The problem is that Kate Knuth was duly elected to represent District 50B through the votes of some very uninformed, shallow thinkers who pretty much looked at which candidate or party promised the most goodies and the DFL campaign machine took full advantage of them. It's clear to me that we Conservatives have a lot of educational work to do! We start with the disadvantage that the liberal media and liberal controlled education (actually "indoctrination") system is well entrenched against us.

The account of Representative Knuth's Family Service Center performance for the most part jibed with my earlier experience at the coffee house: an audience of generally older (with an average age of perhaps 60) people that I would describe as having willingly acquired a dependence on government to take care of all of their wants and needs, with little if any thought on what such a dependency will do to their wealth and liberty. The preceeding was a highly sanitized summary of what my friend reported as most of his descriptive verbiage (with the exceptions of "idiot", "liberal" and "socialist") though accurate, would violate the standards of this blog. He also made some references describing the placement of Knuth supporter's heads that I don't believe is physically possible, requiring a degree of limberness well beyond that of most vertebrates. It seems that the usual suspects (the socialized medicine crowd, the tree huggers, the subsidized public transportation supporters, etc.) were well represented.

One "gentleman" (a clean-up of a description that, while accurate in a metaphoric sense, would generally get a pro-athlete ejected from a game) actually thanked Representative Knuth for her "courage" to raise taxes and told her "not to believe the talk that there is no money out there to pay taxes". In a case of apparent extreme class envy this guy told Knuth that his employment involved servicing ornamental trees for a lot of rich people that are "dripping with money" and applauded the plans of the DFL to "make them pay their fair share" (I'd gladly pay money to hear this guy debate some of the contributors to this blog!). And in some ways even more incredulous (at least to me), our duly elected representative actually deferred to her mother, a former "educator", when one of the few conservatives in attendance questioned the wisdom of the massive expansion of the ECFE program by the DFL. Does our elected Representative consult mommy and daddy before casting an important vote?

A minor disagreement I have with my friend's account is that he suspected that the audience, save for a few conservative types that "got it" (like one guy who told Knuth that he had attended the Tax Cut Coalition rally), was largely an organized DFL effort with Mommy Knuth serving as the Seargent-at-Arms. I had gotten the impression that most of people at the coffee house performance, though very liberal and most definitely Knuth supporters, were people genuinely there to greet and encourage their heroine with a few conservatives showing up to actually question her position on some issues. I guess it really doesn't matter except to realize how deep the roots of entitlement, class envy, and socialism have grown in otherwise rational people.

At the coffee house meeting a local small businessman firmly but politely questioned Representative Knuth on her co-authorship of what has become to be known on talk radio as "The Freedom to Poop Act" or on this blog as the "Defecation Proclamation", a bill mandating that business owners let people with certain medical conditions use restrooms not intended for the public on demand or face a misdemeanor level fine. She told him that she had a friend in college that was afflicted with such a condition and that she had received a letter or e-mail from a 13 year old constituent asking for the government to do something. The businessman (I believe he said he was a jeweler) expressed his sympathy for people with such conditions and then voiced concern about his ability to protect his property and that of his customers that would be present along the back room route to the restroom. He rhetorically asked Knuth if the situation really warranted the full power of a state law and subsequent enforcement obligation by the local police who are already stretched pretty thin. Knuth indicated that she understood his concerns but still thought the legislation was appropriate.

Herein lies the problem: as long as there are large numbers of people who view government as the ultimate provider of all that is wanted and needed that will always be there to resolve all of life's difficulties there will be politicians like Knuth to pander to them in exchange for their vote. For example, the people with the medical condition requiring frequent restroom usage, instead of consulting their doctors or support groups to find ways to deal with their problem, find it all too easy to garner the attention of liberals in government like Knuth to fix things. The guy with the obvious envy of rich people has no problem asking the government to confiscate the wealth and property of others for his perceived benefit but would be the first to cry foul if the government imposed a stiff tax targeting tree maintenance that would be harmful to his livlihood.

Yes, Kate Knuth and her just plain dumb liberal ideas need to be voted out of office. But in order to bring this about there are a lot of, as G-Man would say, hearts and minds that need to be changed. The challenge for us Conservatives is to make this happen, often one liberal voter at a time by tirelessly pointing out what a flimsy foundation liberalism is built upon. Attending one of Kate Knuth's meetings (and one is more than sufficient) and critically examining what she and her supporters stand for should make this very clear.

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